Gearing up for "Aloha"

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Yes, that's right - in exactly 5 weeks and 1 day, Steve and will be on a plane headed toward...Kauai! In the midst of this cold and miserable winter, nothing sounds better than jetting off to the land of leis, luaus, and hula.

And all of those things are great, but when I think of Hawaiian vacations what I'm really thinking of are all of the sitcoms I watched while growing up. Nothing beats kitschy family comedy transported to a tropical paradise...

The Saved by the Bell gang taught me that good friends travel together. Sure, they went to Palm Springs one time, and even spent the summer working at a beach club. But when everyone (including Mr. Belding!) went on a Hawaiian vacation, that really meant something.

I've had to knock creating a "Clipboard of Fun" off my travel "to do" list, as things didn't work out so great for Danny Tanner on Full House. Danny's rigorous sightseeing schedule left them stranded on a deserted island that turned out to be the actual island they wanted to be on, but they didn't find out until they had been "stranded" for the entire day. Talk about drama.

If there's one lesson I've learned from all of the Brady Bunch episodes I've watched, don't pick up any ancient tiki statues while in Hawaii. Symptoms from carrying around these statues include your big brother Greg getting hurt while surfing, a tarantula almost attacking your brother Peter, and you almost get hit by a wall hanging. Remedies include returning the statue to an ancient burial ground and ending your trip with a big Hawaiian party where people think you're special because you have a lot of kids. And a housekeeper.

And finally, the number one lesson I've learned from TV about Hawaiian vacations is that no trip is complete without having the perfect theme song. On Growing Pains when Mike fell in love with the Hawaiian tour guide, they played Christopher Cross's "Swept Away." Come on, sing it with me:

I was swept away
No one in the world but you and I
Gotta find a way to make you feel the way that I do
I was swept away
Without a warning
Like night when the morning begins the day
I was swept away

I know for a fact that this is the best Hawaiian vacation sitcom theme song because just today, as I was pulling together ideas for this post, this song came on my cubicle neighbor's radio (that she keeps on ALL DAY LONG). It's like I thought of the Seavers and BAM! I literally was swept away right from my desk.

You may be thinking this post is silly at best, but I seriously do think of each and every one of these episodes when I think about Hawaii. If I could get them on Hulu I would watch them all in preparation for our trip.

Since not everything in life can be learned from TV (sad but true), do you have any suggestions on where to eat and what to do in Kauai? It will be a quick trip because Steve is shooting a wedding there...we'll have 3 full days to ourselves. Any helpful hints would be welcomed and appreciated!


MayLove said...

LOL - this is the second "I'm going to Hawaii" post I've seen today! In Kauai we did the Waimea canyon "the grand canyon of the pacific" -it's beautiful, but I don't recommend spending more than an hour there. We also did a tour of Wailua River and the Fern Grotto - it was pretty but if you're short on time, skip it. Tubing the ditch at Hanamaulu Ditch was AWESOME! Highlight of the trip; that, and laying on the beach. Kauai was the only island where we had time just to relax. My advice - don't cram too much in!

Alvina said...

Kauai is beautiful!! We went there for our honeymoon last year. I second Waimea canyon and we went on this kayak/hike to secret waterfall thing and it was a lot of fun! (And super cheap!) It's definitely the greenest island and pretty chill. Lots of chickens running around.

DEFINITELY MUST HAVE TO buy this book. BEST tour guide. "The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook: Kauai Revealed"

We saw everyone else with it too. :-P

MKK said...

I have two recommendations for Kauai -- we went a few years ago so it's been a while but we really enjoyed doing the Na Pali Coast tour. There are a ton of companies who do it so just pick one that is on your side of the island. You are on a boat all day, and it takes you right on the coast (where the helicopter scene was filmed in Jurassic Park when they come on the island for the first time... yes, random, I know!) and then they stop while you snorkel. We really enjoyed it and got to see a bunch of dolphins (like 15!) playing in the surf of our boat. Just a beautiful day!

The second really random recommendation is for this AMAZING taco stand with the best fish tacos ever. Here are the deets:

The thing about Kauai is that there is one main road that goes around the circumference of the whole island and it takes A LONG time to get from one side to the other so just make sure when you are planning tours/trips that they are (if possible), on your side of the island. We made the mistake of booking a few things on the other side and it just took a lot of travel time.

Oh and I almost forgot -- we also went Sky Diving in Kauai and if you've ever thought about doing it at some point in your life, jumping out of a plane in paradise is the way to go. The view is just phenomenal and you almost forget that you are just floating in air.

Hope that helps!!

BigAppleNosh said...

Hahaha - love this post! I'd definitely suggest getting the blue "Revealed" book - it tells you everything!

Laura said...

Thank you all for the great suggestions!! Great insight into what to do...I was especially intrigued about tubing the ditch - read about it online - so nice to hear good reviews!! :)


Anonymous said...

I just stumbled upon yourblog, and had to comment. I went to Kauai last summer and can't wait to go back! Here are my suggestions:

Buy the book mentioned above. Puka dog has the best hot dogs I've ever eaten. My husband and I also went on the kayak/hike/waterfall tour and absolutely loved it. Buy some lilikoi/coconut syrup from Aunty Lilikoi. For a semi-normal breakfast place, go to Kountry Kitchen. If you're patient, try the malasada stand by Kmart. So delicious. Go to Costco for gas and "souvenir" macadamia nut chocolates.

I hope you enjoy your trip!

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